Showing posts from August, 2011

The Burden of Fatherhood

In a previous post, I discussed the nature of being a father.  The source and model of fatherhood is the Father above.  On one hand this brings great comfort because fatherhood is built into the cosmos and our nature.  Grace accompanies this action, and is able to assist the shortcomings we face as sinful men.  Direction is given as  we look to the workings of God in Revelation.

On the other hand, this understanding of fatherhood comes with a heavy burden.  Even among secular psychology, the father plays a crucial role in shaping a child's understanding of God.  This should be no surprise when the truths above are considered.  Whether God is viewed as loving or hateful, just or unfair, erratic or controlled depends largely on dad.  Over the years, I have seen many reject faith in God because they could not get past an angry, abusive, or absent father.

The other great burden of fatherhood is the demonstration of true masculinity.  In an age of prolonged adolescence, a male that a…

Book Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who commented and entered to win the new book.  Also thanks to everyone who tweeted and fb'd the info.  I am excited about the content of the book, and appreciate everyone who has spread the word.

Now for the winners:

Fr. Matthew Thurman
Patrick Robert Easter
DP Chalk
Jerry Willis

Please email your address to me at theron[dot]mathis at gmail[dot]com.

If you enjoy the content of the book, please tell a friend and post a review on Amazon.

You can currently purchase copies of the book from Conciliar Press at

The Purpose of the Old Testament

The Old Testament is designed to prepare us for Christ, and if nothing else, the messiness, the sin, and the squalor of the Old Testament should convince us of man's need for Christ.

This preparation is not merely an intellectual readiness to accept the New Testament.  This would be difficult for us all because our minds are dense.  It is also not a one time preparation that dissipates in meaning once the New is embraced.

It should grind away at our encrusted hearts.  We read with horror at the murders, the adulteries, the idolatry and sit in stunned silence.  If the silence is allowed to work, we can see beneath our veneer and find an inner alliance with those who walk the ancient pages.

Despair may grip our heart so that we cry out to God for salvation.  Only then can the light of resurrection come.  This is the work of the Old Testament.  It is the cross of the New Testament's resurrection.

The Rest of the Bible Book Giveaway

I am giving away 5 copies of my new book.  Instructions for how to enter are at the end of the post.

Over the past couple months, I have been teasing my new book that has just been released.

The book is titled, The Rest of the Bible (A Guide to the Old Testament of the Early Church).

Have you ever wondered about those mysterious books, that some Christians have in their Bibles, but are absent from others?  The Rest of the Bible will fill in the details.

This book is an introduction to the books often called the Apocrypha or the Deuterocanonicals.  St. Athanasius called them the Readables.  Why do some Christian's have them and some do not?  What are they about?  When were they written?

Regardless of your opinion of them as Scripture, understanding them will deepen your understanding of the New Testament and the world of Christ and His apostles.  Your faith will be challenged and you will be inspired to live courageously.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
"A be…

Track 5 -Illumination

Isaiah stands above the prophets of the OT as an imposing figure.  The length of his prophesy and his tenure create a sense of greatness among the prophets.  The NT relies heavily on his prophetic utterances and the Orthodox OT readings favor his prophecies throughout Lent.

Isaiah was born into the royal family (he was a cousin to the king of Judah).  It was during the reign of King Uzziah that his ministry began.  A vision of God launched his ministry and stamped his life with deep sense of God's majesty and his own unworthiness.  Out of this vision we see a glimmer of the throne of heaven and our own worship is shaped through this vision as we enter alongside the choir of angels and cry, "Holy,Holy,Holy!"

Judea was under constant threat during Isaiah's life.  Assyria was on the rise and after their conquering the Northern Kingdom of Israel, this world power had its site set on Judea.  Through the miracle of God, Judea was spared.  Emerging from further east, Babylo…

Urban Ministry Guides

Recently the OCA held a conference on Urban Ministry.

There is some good stuff on the PDF attached to the site.

Check it out here: Urban Ministry Summit

Tabernacles and Transfiguration

Most Old Testament feasts have a New Testament counterpart. Passover becomes Easter/Pascha. Pentecost retains it name but takes on a Christian character. The Feast of Tabernacles/Booths becomes the Transfiguration of Christ.

After Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt they entered the desert on the road to the Promised Land. Due to the stubbornness of the people, they continued wandering the deserts as nomads for 40 years.
The Feast of Tabernacles at its simplest understanding is a remembrance of this journey. The people were required to build these outdoor booths and live in them during the celebration. I don't know if the parents were excited about erecting a booth and leaving the comforts of a permanent dwelling, but I bet the kids were thrilled. I know my boys get excited about the prospect of camping. The prospects of helping dad build a lean-to for the whole family would be an annual adventure.
Other than a remembrance of their temporary dwellings, the Feast…

To Be a Father

Eph. 3:14 & 15, "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named"
What does it mean to be a father? To find this answer, we must turn to the source. For the Christian, all theology flows from two currents: the Trinity and the Incarnation. For this answer, God the Father is sufficient.
Within the Trinity, each Person is equal and fully God yet each Person is unique. The Father is the source of the Trinity. He is the locus of unity, peace, and love within the Trinity.
Among all things, that we can say a father should be, at the root of his role is one of unity for the family. It is his responsibility to be the one to prevent chaos and keep things united in love within the home.
Christian author Don Miller, writing on manhood says:"I firmly believe that the job of a man is to bring peace into chaos. A man (and a woman too for that matter) can look into an empty field and see a house…

The Leadership Mirror

The Wisdom of Sirach 10:2 As goes the leader of a people, so also are his officials, and all the inhabitants of a city will reflect its ruler. (OSB)

As a leader, self-reflection can be difficult. How do you know when you are off track or moving in the wrong direction? Are you seeing yourself as you truly are? Where are your blindspots?
Those you lead can show you. Not with words, but with their behavior.
What do you admire in people? What actions irritate you? If you see them among those you lead there is a good chance they are part of your character.
This is a scary truth, but helpful. Only by seeing the reality of ourselves can we change.
Let me give an example that you may relate with. I am a father of three boys and regardless of my desire to be their leader, it is part of the job description. They will follow for good or bad.
One behavior that upsets me about my boys is how often they irrationally yell at one another when another wrongs them. Both their mother and I repea…